What Gratitude Does for God’s People: Wisdom from CVCers

by Founding Pastor Rick Duncan

As I was getting ready for my message on Psalm 103 – The Remembering Soul – I reminded our friends that we must remember the great things God has done for us so we can bless Him and give Him thanks.

Then I asked the CVC Facebook group to brainstorm a quick list.

What are the benefits of gratitude?

I received a great many great thoughts from CVCers and friends of CVC about the power of gratitude.

Here’s the list below. As you read through this list, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Which ones did you most need to read?
  • What changes could you make in your life to better access that benefit of gratitude?
  • What habits do you need to form to become more grateful?

***

The Benefits of Gratitude

It focuses our mind on blessings, filling our soul with joy and peace as we remember that our heavenly Father cares so immensely for us!

Gratitude keeps you present in the moment and gives you perspective.

Gratitude glorifies God. Gratitude helps us to see God better! 2 Corinthians 4:15, James 1:16-17

Gratitude puts us in the dead center of God’s will. “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Gratitude draws us to God. (Jesus healed 10 lepers, only one came back to give thanks.) Luke 17:17-19.

Gratitude for who God is and what He has done helps to keep us humble and content which results with more peace and joy.

Gratitude also helps us to remember what He has done which reminds us that He is faithful and can be trusted which grows our faith! From all this springs a deeper love for Him and a desire to serve Him!

You can’t be grateful and negative at the same time. Having gratitude for everything we have in our lives and for our salvation aligns us with God’s purpose for our lives.

Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

When you bookend the day–with your very first thoughts and your very last thoughts–with gratitude, that mindset just doesn’t allow any room for complaints or discontentment.

Gratitude is the broom that cleans out that stuff…and when you find the room that had been previously occupied by complaints and discontentment. And that’s more room that blessings can fill. God longs to bless, but sometimes we have to make room…get rid of the junk in our minds and hearts, so He can fill it with good things.

I would say that when we rejoice, pray, and give thanks (gratitude) we are in God’s will for us (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18); it glorifies God (Psalm 50:23); it helps us find the supernatural peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7).

It glorifies God! Also gratitude adjusts our attitude. It opens our eyes & heart to see God’s truth & love more clearly when our attitude is adjusted away from the attitudes & things of this world.

When we are grateful, or feeling feelings of gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin…. the “feeling good” chemicals! So it makes us feel happier!

It puts focus on Jesus and the eternal life and not how our various circumstances make us feel in the moment. He is with us, goes before us, goes through things with us, carries us, sustains us and is our everything. Therefore, we are grateful in all. Hallelujah! Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit!!

Gratitude gives us a more peaceful existence.

Gratitude fosters trust.

Gratitude enhances our humility.

Gratitude helps us give back to others.

Gratitude puts a smile on my face all the time.

Gratitude makes your heart feel good.

Gratitude fosters contentment.

When I turn my focus on thanking God I have peace and happiness in return.

Gratitude takes the focus off of me and any pride in my own strength or wisdom.

Gratitude helps me to remember how faithful God has been to me, always.

Gratitude reminds me of when life was hard.

Gratitude shows me just how much Jesus did on my behalf.

Gratitude leads me to praise God.

Gratitude is acknowledging what is true about God’s character and deeds! It keeps me firmly trusting in His ability to act in the world and on behalf of His children.

Gratitude acknowledges that God did it…not you.

Gratitude puts the focus on the positive so the negative cannot win. I feel it is human nature to complain and whine. Gratitude makes you feel blessed and safe with our Creator. Gratitude gives me energy and comfort like the sun.

Have you ever gotten new glasses and suddenly the world looks crisp and clear and beautiful? You look at the trees that had been hazy green and you see individual leaves that were there all along but you just had never seen them? That’s what I feel like thankfulness does for me. It gives me new lenses to view my world differently and actually be able to SEE things that have been hidden in plain sight.

Gratitude is one of those things I sometimes forget. I find myself taking things for granted and wondering how we got here. It’s little things sometimes…the kids folded the towels (wrong, but still folded), why am I ungrateful? I am learning along my recovery journey that even the littlest thing are big. Examples are endless. Waking up, having all my senses, having a job that I love, a car that runs, water, electricity, a house, clothes, a bed, a God that keeps me safe on the road, like I said the list goes on and on, but once we remove our blinders to all the things we take for granted, we begin to feel Blessed instead.

Even in my therapist trainings we were taught the importance of gratitude exercises for mental health clients. This included gratitude journals, simple daily verbal expressions. Here is a Ted Talk (be sure to watch till the end). Benefits are phenomenal for emotional, mental, and even physical health. Spiritually keeping focused on eternity and recalling all God has done and all He has yet to do brings my mind into focus and my heart into peace even in the midst of uncertainty.

Gratitude produces so many benefits. Sleep better. Improved self-esteem. Improved physical health even with dementia. Lessened resentment. A more positive, optimistic outlook. A happier life. Reduced blood pressure.

Material wants lessened.

If my gratitude (to God) is right, I can handle all situations whether I am rich or poor, sick or healthy. Thank you Jesus for your peace!

Gratitude is the way we bless the One who gives you the gift by saying “Thank you.”

Gratitude gives us a deeper walk with and dependence on God, His peace that passes understanding regardless of circumstances, and a full heart.

Gratitude requires you to be humble and others-focused. It shows love for others.

Gratitude gives us a freedom from anger, resentment, greed, lust, and all the other wicked deed of the flesh that war against us.

Gratitude is the antidote to discontentment. our joy and contentment is being fought for each day by the enemy. There is great power against Satan in having gratitude to Jesus. I have learned to verbalize daily and many times daily “Thank You, Jesus.” My kids hear that all of the time and others who are around me. Gratitude toward Him shows that we know He is the author of it all. I couldn’t imagine life without fighting for a grateful heart. Sometimes it’s harder than other times, but there is always something to be thankful for. And when we acknowledge God’s hand and kindness in it all, it humbles us and makes our hearts swell with even more gratitude!!!! AMAZING!!!!!! Thank You, Jesus!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s